Bordeaux Red Blends from Chile, South America
The Seña 2005 has a deep, violet-ruby color. The different grape varieties in the final blend contribute intense, highly complex aromas of fresh fruit, blueberries, raspberries, and elegant notes of tobacco, cocoa, and black pepper. The palate shows very good structure with superior acidity that adds a juicy freshness and helps to form a rich, elegant texture. Subtle hints of chocolate, cinnamon, and vanilla linger on the long finish. Delightful today, the wine will improve over the next few years. Decanting is suggested.
Food Match: roasts, red meat, grilled meats, game, duck, beef.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2005 Sena, from an outstanding vintage, is composed of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 9% Carmenere, 6% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot. The wine spent 18 months in 100% new French oak. Purple-colored, it offers up an alluring bouquet of pain grille, espresso, spice box, black currant, and blackberry. Layered, ripe, and intensely flavored, its elegant personality is reminiscent of a top-level St.-Julien from a quality vintage. The flavors already reveal considerably complexity and the tannic structure suggests that Sena will have a lengthy upward trajectory. It should reach its peak by 2015 and remain at that level through 2035. Sena is one of Chile’s icon wines and deservedly so. Vina Sena was originally a partnership between Eduardo Chadwick and Robert Mondavi but since the demise of the Mondavi empire, Sena has been going it alone. The fruit is entirely sourced from the Sena Hillside Vineyard which is biodynamically farmed."
Wine Enthusiast - "Arguably the best Seña to date. This blend of Cabernet, Merlot, Carmenère, Cab Franc and Petit Verdot opens with a mix of perfume, spice and prickle along with raspberry. The palate is flush and flashy, with a complex blend of strawberry, raspberry, vanilla, cinnamon and tobacco flavors. Smooth as a glass table, and slightly creamy. Excellent Chilean wine to drink now through 2010. "
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com - "Ruby hue. Quite brambly, fresh, direct aromas of red berries and moist herbs. Integrated flavors of cherry, raspberry, earth and cinnamon are much more polished than the nose. Sweetens up in the close."
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In 1995, Robert Mondavi and Eduardo Chadwick pioneered one of Chile's first international joint ventures, a bold and forward-thinking move in those times. They set a very challenging goal: to reach the full potential of Chile's wine country and to create a truly world-class wine. These two are distinguished traditional wine families shared the passion for excellence and innovation. Sharing their dream and dedication, in 1997 they released the first vintage of Sena (1995), one of Chile's first iconic wines, marking a milestone and initiating the path for making ultra-premium wines in Chile. Eduardo Chadwick searched alongside Robert Mondavi for four years before finding the ideal terroir in Chile's Valle de Aconcagua. Sena, the Chilean Bordeax-blend, is the culmination of their vision, an expression of consummate quality and character. View all Sena Wines
About ChileView a map of Chile wineries (CHEE-lay)Long and thin, Chile has a lot of land north to south. The wine region here is a series of districts based near Santiago. The vineyards are protected by the Pacific on the west and the Andes mountains on the east. This could help explain why the climate changes more from east to west than north to south – also why the country has remained phylloxera free. Quite a few wineries in Chile were founded by large French wine companies. Seeing the potential of the country, vineyards were bought and planted by these French folks and the results tell of a smart investment. Some of these wineries include: Los Vascos, Casa Lapostolle and Cousino Macul. And while the inspiration may have been French, but the wines here are quite Chilean.
Photo of the sun break following morning fog over the vineyards of Veramonte Winery (located in the Casablanca Valley)
Notable FactsThe main regions of Chile include Maipo (pronounced MY-poh), known for reds like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere; Casablanca Valley, a region producing delicious Sauvignon Blanc, as well as other whites & some reds; Colchaugua, an inland district creating amazing red wines from Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, particularly in the Apalta sub-region; and Rapel Valley, settled right under Maipo and producing the same red varietals. A couple of smaller regions to watch include Limari and Elqui, two valleys further north, producing some delicious cool-climate Chardonnay and Bio Bio, an area further south, which is also focused on cool-climate varieties. Chilean wines are growing in exports and more consumers are enjoying the delicious values coming from the country. Red wines of the region, though they cannot be generalized, make the whole gamut of wine quality – quaffable to collectible. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Carmenere are the main players, though Syrah is also making a splash. Some of the best reds are blends of the above varieties. As for whites, Sauvignon Blanc is typically crisp, herbal and racy, while Chardonnay is richer in style with full-bodied texture and tropical fruit flavors.
About South AmericaRelated Links:
Young, organically farmed Carmenère at Chile's De Martino estate vineyard
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.